Travelling in London

Did you know that 8 out of 10 disabled people use the buses in London on a regular basis?

There are a range of services and initiatives provided by Transport for London (TfL) to help you get around using public transport. Being able to travel independently can be the first step toward employment and accessing social activities, and TfL has shared some of their tips with us to help you to tackle your commute!

The Freedom Pass gives you 24/7 free travel on TfL services including buses, tubes and overground trains. If you have a Freedom Pass, you can travel for free on most public transport services in London, including National Rail, although time restrictions apply. Find out more at https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/freedom-pass.

Travel Support Card
This is a wallet-sized card to use to get help when travelling in London. Anyone who finds travelling difficult can have a travel support card. It is particularly useful for people with a hidden disability or those who do not often travel on their own. Find out more at http://content.tfl.gov.uk/using-a-travel-support-card.pdf.

Travel mentoring services
TfL’s free travel mentoring service helps people to start using public transport.
They can offer advice on planning a journey using an accessible route and we can provide a mentor to come with you for your first few journeys to help you gain confidence and become an independent traveller.
They also provide assistance to people who wish to use mobility scooters and other mobility aids on London's bus services.

Find out more about the mobility aid recognition scheme at https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/wheelchair-access-and-avoiding-stairs.
Mentoring is free of charge and can be provided Monday to Friday from 08:00-18:00.
How do I find out more?
Phone: 020 3054 4361 (TfL call charges)
Email:travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk

Transport for all
Across London there are a range of Travel Mentoring schemes also known in some places as Travel Training. These exist to build the confidence of disabled and older transport users.

They arrange for you to meet a Travel Mentor who will accompany you on a journey several times to give you the confidence you need to become an independent traveller. Please note that in all cases you will have to book this in advance.

Whilst these mentors cannot make broken wheelchair ramps work or bus drivers drive up to the kerb, they can assist you in attempting to negotiate these problems and find routes or journeys for regular trips you would like to make.

For information on your nearest travel training scheme, ring Transport for All: 020 7737 2339 or visit http://www.transportforall.org.uk/public/training/.

Bus Days
In addition to accompanying new travellers on their first journeys, TfL’s Travel Mentors work with local bus companies across London to hold Bus Days. These events are designed to give disabled travellers and their carers the opportunity to sit on a bus, ask questions about the bus and their journey and learn about different aspects of travelling such as using an Oyster card, the layout of the vehicle and how to deal with challenging situations. 

For more information, please contact the Travel Mentoring Service on 020 3054 4361 or email travelmentor@tfl.org.uk .

Bus Garage Visits                                                                                      Have a look at this film of a visit by a group of learning disabled residents in Lambeth to Aviva bus garage in Brixton: http://arrivalondon.com/news/tfl-and-arriva-london-host-disability-awareness-discussion


Accessibility guides                                                                                      TfL produces a range of guides in alternative formats to help you plan and make journeys. These include audio and large print guides, step-free guides, avoiding stairs guides, tube toilet guides and river boat service guides. All of the guides can be obtained free of charge by completing an order form on the website: https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/12387.aspx .

Making Information More Accessible
TfL is producing more of its information in Easy Read.
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/action-on-equality-easy-read-march-2016.pdf.

TfL Valuing people - Big Day Out
This London-wide forum for people with learning difficulties meets three times a year to discuss travel and transport issues. The network first met in February 2007 linking TfL with the Government’s Valuing People programme in the London Region, and has been funded by TfL since April 2011.

Members and supporters of self advocacy groups for people with learning disabilities from across the London Region have the opportunity to talk directly to TfL’s managers & staff about the transport services they use, and the information that they want to access. You can read about the Network and find contact details for any queries here:  The TfL / Valuing People Big Day Network (222.7 KB) .

 Find out more at https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/corporate-and-social-responsibility/equality-and-inclusion?intcmp=2747.

Sky Badgers has some useful hints and tips on travel in general with children with special needs at http://skybadger.co.uk/holiday/transport.

If you have found some useful travel information for learning disabled Londoners (and others!) about getting around the capital please share it with us !